Looking for a break from the fast paced travel of the last few days – I got up Sunday morning and caught the early bus to Matka – which is just on the outskirts of the city. Most cities would kill to have a place like this within spitting distance of its urban area. Matka is a deep river canyon surrounded by steep rocky cliffs and walls – a dam sits at the mouth of the canyon backing up the water for a long ways. A trail winds among the cliffs which at times is extremely narrow sitting on the edge of steep precipices. I spent most of the morning walking along the edges of the cliffs – as far up the lake as possible. Occasionally a boat ferrying local tourists would pass by below. I do a lot of hiking on trips such as these – in my opinion, there’s no better way to get in shape than by traveling!
In the spirit of relaxation I spent four amazing hours at lunch at the Matka Canyon Restaurant – soaking in the alcoholic drinks, multiple salads (living on Greek salads every day!) and of course an entree. Its been bloody hot in Skopje and all over this part of Europe for that matter, so it felt great to jump into the lake. However the water is so cold that I could only stay in merely seconds before my feet were numb and tingling with pain.
I met two chaps from Poland and we all nearly walked half way back to Skopje before catching a bus. We put the wraps on the day in the old town chugging beer and raki.